Wednesday, December 30
Monday, December 28
I think we need to count down to the New Year! The year that we really change things for the better.
Thursday, December 24
It's dark because Tim, our "adventurous" 7 year old, has the house as dark as he can.
He got night vision goggles for Christmas. And he's trying to see how well they work.
He also got a spy digital recorder, which he used at 5am this morning to record Mom and Dad sawing logs. When Matt asked him what he was doing, he said, "Just collecting evidence..."
So in the dark I sit, wondering what in the world I can tell you before Christmas. It's rather hard to type, and I can't see the keyboard all that well. But Tim is seeing things in a whole new way. And he's not messing up my house, so we both win.
I suppose that everyone is going to have their fill of Christmas candy and junk food and yummy assortments of calorie laden goodies over the next couple of days. And I won't deny you that. Go ahead. You've earned it!
But in a week, when the new year rolls around, I'm going to be here. I'm anticipating a busy month, as women everywhere will be looking around for a place to find information about weight loss. And by then, I'll be at my 165. And ready to help. :)
OK, back to Christmas. What can I say?
I keep coming back to Tim's darn night vision goggles! Weird, I suppose, but I can't think of a better way to illustrate the Christmas story.
Because the world was dark, lonely and void of all hope before the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ. There was no way to see the path to salvation.
Until the world was given a pair of night vision goggles in a stable just outside a town called Bethlehem. Shepherds and wise men came to see this tiny child born in a manger, where they could see the world for what it really was- full of hope.
With the goggles of Jesus, the world is able to maneuver in this life with purpose. With confidence of where we are going, mindful of the pitfalls before us, and avoiding obstacles that come our way.
And I don't really think its a coincidence that when Tim sees the living room with his nifty night vision goggles the world looks red. He's seeing things with a rosy outlook in the dark.
We should see life as it is now intended to be- not dark and hopeless, but draped and covered in the blood of Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. There is a light, and He is here with us- right now.
Merry Christmas to you all, and may you remember that Jesus was born for you- that we might live life to the fullest each and every day. Loving each other with grace and forgiveness. And feasting on the Bread of life.
Not overdoing it on the Christmas cookies. (Force of habit! Had to throw that in there!)
With the warm glow of God's love-
Tuesday, December 22
My husband and I sat in a courthouse, surrounding a family and community who lost their two year old daughter, granddaughter, niece and sweet little angel- Reagan Williams- to shaken baby syndrome at the hands of a man who sat on trial. Yesterday was the sentencing hearing for the man's crimes of killing this precious baby.
I am going to bring you this message in the best way I know how, because at the moment I am so emotionally broken for so many reasons.
Reagan's life was short- too short, and in the 2 1/2 years she had on this earth, she endured the best of both worlds. She got to know the unconditional love of her father's family, and yet lived in the fear of the custodial home she knew. She never had the chance to go to her first day of school, her first dance, her own graduation. She will never see the love of her life waiting at the end of an aisle for her in candlelight. Her life was tragically taken at the hands of someone else. Someone who lived in the home with her and was supposed to protect her. But she never got that protection.
Her natural father and his family tried to pull her out. They tried to give her safety, protect her. But the nature of our overloaded courts and family protection services were too busy to take responsibility for this little girl in need of help.
And they were wrong not to help. In their busyness, they turned little Reagan away, even though there were pictures and evidence of prior abuse. Their hearts should feel just as responsible as the man who created the fear and ultimately the end of Reagan's brief life.
So many of us have felt the effects of abuse in our own lives. Maybe we grew up with a father, grandfather, uncle, or even a stepmother who beat us, molested us, broke us. Maybe we have had boyfriends, husbands, ex husbands, who chewed up what little hope we had and threw it on the floor, along with our hopes, dreams, and self esteem, making our home a place that was void of safety and comfort.
I am here to tell you today that we are the lucky ones.
We made it out alive.
She wasn't able to be a screwed-up adult because of abuse, like the rest of us. She wasn't able to gain a ton of weight, thinking that if she was fat or ugly her abuser would leaver her alone. She never told herself while looking in a mirror "you are worthless" because someone told her that's what she was.
Instead, there is no longer a reflection in the mirror for her to see.
See, kids, yesterday, sitting in that courtroom, hearing that the man who killed Reagan was only getting 7 years in prison and screaming at the injustice- I realized something. I can no longer use my fears from my past to dictate my future. My fat has been my safety for far too long. I used it as a shield, protecting me from the bad things in life. No one could really get close to the person I am if I remain attached to my fat. No one would hurt the innocent child who didn't understand what was happening to her because fat made you ugly, and if you were ugly, no one would want you. Those are the thoughts that kept me alive, that gave me a chance at normalcy in life. The thoughts that keep holding me back from heading into a land that I have never known as an adult. The land of Skinnydom.
I know that if I keep hanging on to the fat- the emotional ties that binge- I will never have the opportunities in life that I deserve. That Reagan deserved. She deserved so much more than she was given, and yet I look at my own life and see the things I have squandered. I have selfishly thrown away chance after chance to change, because of my own fears of being hurt.
So as this year begins to draw to a close, I feel there is nothing left for me to do but be forced to shed all my feelings of inadequacies, fear, hopelessness. I made huge strides with my weight in 2009. But in 2010, it is time for me to do things as an adult I never thought I would. Take risks, live life to the fullest. Really really really work towards my goal of 100 pounds and become a survivor. A living breathing survivor who made it out, and helps others break free too.
When it is all said and done, Reagan's killer will be in prison about the same amount of time that Reagan was alive. A mere 2 1/2 years, thanks to our injustice system. I can't take on legal battles to correct that wrong. What can I do to help? Me? A mother, a wife, a writer and professional dieter?
What I can do is step up to the plate, embrace my kids, love my husband, and not let the after effects of my past abuse hold me back any longer. Those emotions can't tie me down. Not for one more day. I've got the answers to my unanswered questions, at last. And I saw them in the eyes of this little girl.
Reagan only got 2 1/2 years. But my own fears and past hurts have held me back for over 20 years. Yesterday I was filled with sorrow about that fact. Today- I am determined that I won't let it happen ever again. And it's time that life is embraced for all that it is. The wonderful joy of living every day to the fullest, to it's full potential, and not letting my yesterdays loom over and dominate my todays. I'm breaking free from my fear and my fat.
So today, I say with absolute confidence that I will live life like it should be. With the faith and hope of a child. Reagan and me. One in heaven, one nothing more than a broken child at heart. Both of us safely in the arms of our Jesus, where we can't be hurt like this ever again. Bound forever in the throws of an ineffective courtroom where Reagan couldn't be saved, and I got my first taste of freedom.
Reagan, sweet darling, you have rescued me. Your short life has forever changed mine. And when I get to heaven and see your precious face, I am going to throw my arms around you, lift you up in the air, and thank you for what you have done.
You may be gone, but your memory is far from over. You have given birth to new life, little one. Thank you.
So today- is for Reagan.
If you would like to know more about Reagan and the foundation her family has started on her behalf, please visit Reagan's Rescue for more information.
Monday, December 21
I think I have a huge bullseye for germs on me.
Last week, Amy (our oldest daughter) had the sniffles, and gave it to Mom and Dad. Who consequently spent their entire weekend lazing around coughing and sneezing and sleeping because they didn’t feel like doing anything else. Well, we did accomplish some things, but nothing major.
Matt cleaned the kitchen. And sneezed. I cleaned the living room. And sneezed.
We also worked on our lines for our show. (And let me tell you there are a ton of lines. More for him, I think, but really it’s going to be interesting to get all these lines down!)
One of the greatest advantages of doing this show (that we are so proud to do, I would like to add) is the fact that we can work on it at home. Just the 2 of us. Our director Donna is there to give us the blocking, encourage us to go the right way with some of the acting, etc., but if Matt and I couldn’t have had the distinct advantage of rehearsing by ourselves at home, we probably wouldn’t have agreed to the show. We can work on the rhythms and accents at home together and have a sounding board for one another.
As it stands, we only have to get a babysitter for the kids once a week, so it’s more or less like a date night. Especially since the two of us are such scene hogs. We love it. This is fun for us!!!
But the lines...oh the lines!!! Pages and pages of them! The key to memorizing a 60 plus page script (when you have half the lines) is exactly like the diet. You do it one pound at a time. One line at a time. At first – when you look at the whole of what you need to accomplish, it’s overwhelming. It scares you and freaks you out.
But if you sit down with your script and just get one line at a time, before you know it you have a whole page knocked out! With only 59 more to go!
Why am I prattling on about this play? (it’s called “Talley’s Folly, by the way. It’s a valentine. A waltz…one-two-three, one-two-three… uh, yes, nerdily that is a line from the show.)
Because I know how to immerse myself into a character. I scrutinize my role- Sally- from every angle. Why does she say the things she says? What in her past makes her react to this situation?
What things in her past have formed her thoughts today?
And I think these are valid questions that we need to ask ourselves on this dieting venture. It’s not just a conquering of physical weight. It’s an emotional journey, as you well know. That’s why we are so prone to fail. Women are vulnerable to that emotional business. Yes, we certainly are.
I have been going through this weekend in my 7 dwarfs like state (Sneezy, Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, and need a Doc) and doing something called a character bio. You list certain attributes of the character you will play that are important. Most of it you just have to make up. It’s the details that matter.
But some of the questions I answered about my character, Sally Talley, had me reeling with unanswered questions of my own. Like...
Skills: Phobias / Fears: Bad Habits / Vices: Quirks: Best Qualities: Worst Qualities: Key Childhood Experiences: Key Teenage Experiences: Key Adult Experiences: Favorites (food, clothing, art, music, TV show, movie, book, etc.) : Personal Goals: Professional Goals: Morality / Ethics: Style of Speech: Commonly Used Words / Slang / Jargon: Lies / Misinformation: Other Important Details:
So not all of these are pertinent, but maybe they are. If I really sit down and list out all my feelings about being fat, the experiences that carved out a plump version of me- what would I discover? Do I tell myself lies and misinformation? (I know I do. I tell myself all the time that I will wake up and have gained back all the weight I have lost. I don't believe it, but the thoughts are there...) What things are keeping me from hitting that 169 I so desperately want to see but seem to sabatoge myself from? (every single fricking fracking time. I actually ate pie crust the other day. Seriously? Pie Crust? I baked it in the oven with butter and sugar. Not fakes of either, I might add. Ug. I’m holding at 172. Mostly.)
We have got to get into the inner workings of ourselves if we want to make changes that stick. We have got to recognize our triggers. My trigger is apparently getting skinnier. Frustrating as it may be, there is some emotional glitch that keeps me holding on to the fat I have left. (And there is fat left. My tummy is a mess. All giggly and flabby…yucko.)
Plus, the adorable brown and white polkadot dress is not even close to fitting. So I have HUGE hurdles to leap. I’m still going to have to have the dress altered, but to what extent? What can I accomplish in the next 8 weeks to get me where I am hoping to be? (As you may recall, I want to perform on stage in the land of the 150’s. Uh, at this point, I think I would settle for the low 160’s, but we will see what I can do.)
This week, as I am exploring the world and inner workings of my character, I’m going to be exploring myself too. I’m going to figure out exactly what the bottom of this burning question is. I’m going to find the chase, and figure out how I can cut to it.
Will you do some exploring with me? What are your emotional triggers? What are the hang-ups you have that keep you from achieving dieting success and keep you on the yoyo of dieting and binging?
This week, as we prepare for Christmas, let’s give ourselves the gift of selfawareness. Let’s figure out what we are so scared of and conquer it together.
It’s time for coffee and some advil cold and sinus. Eeeks. I just sneezed on the computer monitor. Gross… good thing I can’t send you a cold virus from the blog… I’m looking forward to getting over this cold! It’s snot very fun!
Friday, December 18
All right, I'll be back on Monday. I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend, and stay out of all those Christmas goodies as best you can. We are going to kick it into high gear after the first of the new year, but we don't have to make things worse than they already are, right???
Wednesday, December 16
Monday, December 14
See, she has been on a journey to lose weight too. And recently, she did something that I couldn’t believe. She did the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. And she even did it for 30 days. AND LIVED.
If Melissa can do it, so can I, right???
Before I begin my story, may I remind you of- and share- a few facts?
A. I have been lazy about exercise lately, and haven’t walked more than 3 miles at a time since I got the flu. Nor have I swam a mile, done yoga, or anything else notable. I have, however, dropped a few pounds in tears after seeing what my laziness has done for my numbers. It ain’t pretty. 174.2, I say with despair and frustration in my heart.
B. I own the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. The last time I attempted it, I was approximately 219 pounds, and I made it precisely 5 minutes into the DVD before I had to decide if I was going to have a heart attack with a side of exercise induced panic attack, or stop and sit on the couch- reminding myself to breathe. I chose the latter.
C. I was dealing with a serious case of Triple Chocolate Chunk Muffin guilt. DoubleTriple Chocolate Chunk Muffin guilt, actually, because I ate two of the durn things at 3am. I made them while waiting for clothes to finish drying so I could switch uniforms from the washer for the kids to wear to school this morning. I was going to fall asleep if I didn’t do something, so I made muffins. I did not realize how dangerously close to brownies those frickin frackin muffins would smell as they were baking. As soon as they were cool, I tasted one- BUT ONLY, OF COURSE, to make sure they were fit for consumption. Then I had to eat another, to make sure the deliciousness wasn’t a fluke on the first muffin. I was wise enough to call it quits before (inhaling) nibbling on a third. I still have my pride. It’s just prettier with a girdle to hold it in.
Now, flash forward to 5am. Still not sleeping, still remembering the taste of muffins. So for a swift kick of reality, I weighed myself. Then I decided I should go to an exercise class at the YMCA. But I really wasn’t sure that was the best idea, because I hadn’t slept and was genuinely tired. So I opted to look at my unusually large collection of workout DVDs and keep the humiliation on the home front. But which DVD to choose?
Lotte Berk. Not a chance.
Billy Blanks TaeBo Bootcamp. When pigs fly.
Barry’s Bootcamp. When H-E-double hockeysticks freezes over.
Sarah Ivanhoe’s 20 minute Yoga Makeover. Forget it.
Bob Harper’s Biggest Loser Workout- maybe, 'cause I loves me some Bob Harper, but the DVD would take longer than I had at that moment.
Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. NO FREAKING WAY.
That is when I remembered Melissa. And what she did.
I’m actually not sure if she made it the whole 30 days. But in my mind, I totally give her credit for it. I know I applauded her on Facebook every time she said she had to leave and go let Jillian work her over (especially as I was sitting on my rumpus “still recovering” – aka being a lazy butt- from the flu). Melissa persevered. She didn’t like it, but she did it.
And I thought to myself “if sweet Melissa can do it, so can I.”
Not that I am as strong as Melissa, but ever since I read her reply to my first email to her, I was bonded to this woman. She is my kinda girl.
Jillian, however, is not even close to being my kinda girl. She is eeeee-vil. To the third degree. Nay, eeeee-vil to eeeee-leven. And like I said earlier, the last time I tried 30 Day Shred, I almost had to call the paramedics. It was bad. And that was 5 minutes into it. I only wish I was exaggerating.
And I was freaking myself out.
So I started my mantra.
“For Melissa. For Melissa.”
‘Cause if I repeated it over and over, I would see Melissa’s face instead of Jillian. Melissa loves me and doesn’t want me to die. I honestly believe Jillian could care less if I kicked the bucket, as long as kept kicking while I was down.
So I began.
It really didn’t help that I was trembling before the opening credits were over. That is how fearful I am of this DVD. “For Melissa. For Melissa.” Maybe it was because I hadn’t slept, or maybe it was the double triple chocolate chunk muffin guilt, or it could have been the fear of God that was rising up within me. Whatever it was, it wasn’t getting Jillian and I off on the best foot.
She smiles and talks about how she’s going to transform your body. I reminded myself that I had already done a butt load of transforming, just me and Jesus, and perhaps this time, if me and the Big J added Jillian into our sucessful mix, it would be easier. Plus, I was down a third of the woman I was back then!
I’m going to break this down to the highlights. You don’t really want to read a play by play of my torture.
Jumping Jacks- One of Jillian’s favorite forms of (torture) exercise. Normally, I would attempt to pound them out, and best my eeeee-vil foe. But as I started bouncing out the jacks -cause with my jigglies, there is no jumping. Just residual movement from the initial action of a singular JUMP- two facts became alarmingly clear.
1) If I bounced like Jillian was on the DVD, I was going to wake up everyone in the house with my elephant sized booms, perhaps causing a sizematic catastrophe.
2) I was going to wet my pants. No room for error. One hearty hop and I’d be puddle jumping.
So I modified the jumping jacks. I lifted one foot at a time and did more of a side kick action, keeping things quiet and dry. It was about the time I was exceedingly pleased with myself when the eeeee-vil one spouted off, “If you are looking for a modification for jumping jacks- well, there isn’t one.”
“I’ve got 400 pound people doing jumping jacks, and if they can do it so can you!”
Excuse me for a moment, Jillian, while I bury the remains of my pride. I’ll be stomping down the dirt of its grave with one foot at a time.
It was deflating.
So I imagined Melissa replacing the soundtrack in her southern accent.
“Honey, if you can only do one foot at a tiiime, you can only do one foot. Keep kicking, sister!”
Much better. My blood pressure reduced. (It really is a good thing I have an overactive imagination. It comes in handy sometimes.) And despite there not being a modification to jumping jacks, my single action Chuch Norris-ish kicks got my heart rate up there. I promise.
Next up- The HAND WEIGHTS
Now I may be delusional about my abilities, but I am not insane. I knew that if she said I needed hand weights, I would not be wise to dig out my 5 pounders. I was quite content to grab the puny 2 pound dumbbells. (Or as Matt calls them, my dumbbellettes.) Say what you want, but I still needed to function after this for the rest of the day. So little weights it is.
Except that after the lifting and pressing with the same motions for what seemed to be an eternity, those little weights got big. And heavy. Like when you hold a baby for 15 minutes and your arm starts to cramp up because you are out of practice. I was totally out of my element here, and it hurt like holy thunder. My arms went on autopilot. They were moving without my brain telling them to. I think they knew that it was inevitable.
That was about the time that my glasses started slipping down my nose because of all the sweat I was producing. Without a second thought, I went to push them back up my nose, nerdy style. Uh, with a handweight in my hand, and my arm completely unaware that we were changing intensity and heading for my face. My arm was focused on the movement at hand. (pun intended) So as the glasses went back up my nose, so did the handweight. Right square on the bridge of my nose. You know those cartoons where a person gets hit on the head and they see stars? Huh, I can say without a doubt that I saw George Clooney. Right there in my living room. At 5:20 am. Who knew he was in town?
The glasses flew off, and I gave up on seeing what I was doing. It was much easier to imagine Melissa’s head on Jillian’s body with them gone anyway. And I listened for my guardian instructor’s voice above the shrilling of the shred.
“It’s just a miiinor setback, hon. Keep going. Just a little while left. You can do this, girl. I know you can.”
I muddled through the next 10 minutes best as I could. If you have never done the shred, it cycles you through the movements. And you all know how FOND I am of cycles. Harumph.
Finally, the last cycle of the “strength portion”-
By the time the last round rolled through, I was a broken woman. The eeeee-vil one has you laying on the floor for the first bit, doing chest presses with the dumbbells. Then she says “Quick, stand up. No resting!” And I tried. I really really tried. But there was no getting up. I was just laying on the floor like the sad muffin eatin sack I was. And the eeeee-vil one goes back to the confounded jumping jacks. So I, in the vain hope of pleasing my cruel mistress, started doing pulses of being spread eagle down on the floor, still lifting my weights, praying that Jillian would be appeased with my pathetic offering. I also prayed that none of my kids would wake up. I could just imagine my explination...
“Mommy, what are you doing?”
“Oh, nothing, just doing jumping jacks on my back…”
Thankfully, everyone stayed in bed and no explanation was necessary.
So what is the verdict about the shred?
A. Pee first. NO EXCEPTIONS.
B. Wear contacts or fly blind. I nose what I am talking about.
C. Get yourself a Melissa. Someone who loves you and wants what is best for you. It makes the whole thing tolerable.
D. Double Triple Chocolate Chunk Muffin guilt is highly overrated. I wasn’t left with a shred of dignity at the end. They weren't worth it, and they won't be the next time either.
But I survived. At least, I survived day one. I’ll keep you posted on the next 29….
Friday, December 11
Especially if your horrormoans have been driving you to madness and compulsive eating.
I have to tell you (because I don’t want to gloss over the truth) that I had a complete melt down, standing buck naked in my kitchen at 5am this morning. I thought I’d weigh myself quickly just to make sure I hadn’t thrown myself too far off track.
What a stupid idea.
Although I wish I could tell you a lower number, I know that if I fudge the truth now, it won’t do anybody any good. AT ALL. So here it is.
(wincing and grimacing as I type this.)
Yeah, I managed to gain myself 5 pounds in 2 days.
How is that possible?
Well, I realized I was super hungry coming home from the video store with the movie “Julia and Julie” in my clutches. So I picked up a bagel with cream cheese. But they were sold out at Royal- Donut- Royal Donut, so I went to a coffee shop and got one I don’t know the calorie/fat content of. And they didn’t have reduced fat cream cheese. And if you are going to watch that movie, please do yourself a favor and watch it with a full stomach. Because it does nothing but make you hungry. That duck dish made my mouth water!!! So I ate more. Lots more.
Then, because it’s was Wednesday, I had to watch the season finale of Top Chef on my DVR. (So bummed Kevin didn’t win. He earned it, and I would let him fatten me up with pork any day of the week!!!) That also made me hungry. So, instead of going to bed like a good girl (because I’m still fighting the insomnia) I decided to eat. Not a fiber one bar, not some 97% fat free popcorn, not even veggies. Well, I did have one veggie. A sautéed onion, mixed in with pasta and hollandaise sauce. Bliss! Pure bliss!
Then Thursday, I made a crock pot full of chili. I haven’t made any for a year, and it tasted soooooo good! I had way too much. And I also should have laid off the left over muffins. And I know it.
So did my scale.
It was not happy with me at all this morning.
More importantly, I am not happy with me.
Now before anyone starts in on a lecture, I am going to share with you what I know to be self evident truths. I will then follow with my frustration about the truths.
Truth 1: My body rages with hunger about a week and a half before my period. Some months are worse than others. This month has been the worst in a long time.
Frustration 1: Yeah, my body does get extremely hungry- like a bottomless pit, as it were. I can deal with that. What I can’t deal with is the fact that I made poor choices when I got that hungry. My body didn’t force me to eat an entire can of French Fried Onions. (Did I forget to mention those in my list above? There were French fried onions. Emphasis on the “were”.) I chose to eat those all by myself. After this whole time, and I still don’t know better. Wait- I DO know better. It’s like the Calvin and Hobbes comic when Calvin says “I have plenty of common sense. I just choose to ignore it!” That is me. Ignoring the obvious.
Truth 2: Cheating is going to happen. That’s just the way life is. Especially if you are on a diet.
Frustration 2: Yes, cheating is going to happen. But why now? I have been half cheating/ half dieting for months now, and I was ready to get over it and battle it out! I was all psyched to move past this and get into the land of 160s. Like this weekend. But instead, I am sitting here regretting eating that food. I don’t like regrets. But I am owning up to the fact that I was not thinking with my head. I was thinking with my tummy. Smooth move, ex-lax.
Truth 3: I will encounter temptation often when it comes to food.
Frustration 3: I will run into food every day. Food is everywhere. It’s not like I have the luxury of a substance abuse problem (stick with me here, I’m not being demeaning or pious. I promise.) and I can AVOID places that serve or sell that substance. I am stuck having to eat and control my addiction every single day. This is where us fat chicks run into trouble. Food is necessary. Food is emotional. Food is… frustrating. It’s like a pair of new work shoes. (Maybe I should start a blog about my obvious love of shoes. It keeps coming up, doesn’t it???) You have to wear them, but they hurt. The cause blisters. They make you ache. And I keep trying to put my junkie flip flops back on. NOT APPROPRIATE. But those flip flops are familiar. And they don’t cramp my style. I love the taste of all things fattening. Fat is familiar. And I feel the emotional pull every time I wake up. This is where us fat chicks are like the folks who have been sober for years. That desire, whether we like it or not, is still there to drink. Or shoot up. Us fatties? We eat. And we can’t avoid it or we will die.
Now that I have perhaps thoroughly depressed everyone (I know I sure am) I need to look at some positive things that are happening.
Even though I am back up to 175 today, a lot of the 5 pounds will come right back off if I behave the next 3 days. That’s just how my body works.
Even though I am wearing the number 175 today, I was wearing a 230 or so this time last year. A marked improvement. I should be proud of that fact.
Even though I am a 175 right now, I know that I can use my frustration at seeing that number to get me back on track. I don’t want to stay here, and I know that. So I have to use my anger to fuel the desire to perspire. I have been totally lazy on exercise since I got the flu in November.
Tomorrow I must do a hard workout. It is a must. Feel free to call me about it. I’m posting my number under the “contact Charlie” part of the blog. Call me Saturday afternoon and yell if I haven’t done it.
OK, I need to go to bed now. I’m exhausted and am hoping for some rest tonight. The insomnia is catching up with me, and I’m feeling the exhaustion kicking in. That’s good, because it means that the spell of me not sleeping well is almost over.
Thanks for listening, gang. It is so good to know that you all are there when I need you most!
Tuesday, December 8
Not a superwoman, but a real girl- filled with excitement, emotions, extenuating circumstances and family obligations… in the midst of holidays, visits to 2 different Grandmas who are under the weather, and housework that never stops… who is foolishly trying to write 2 books of completely different genres, keep up on a blog (which I really don’t mind) and the heaps of emails she receives from women who need encouragement…who is trying to keep her love life hot with her hubby, short people in her house from killing each other and who need endless amounts of bandaids for survival because of invisible booboos…who has to get through 5 (count em) 5 holiday celebrations and face her evil foe of pecan fudge and divinity…
What exactly can she do in 10 weeks?
Because that is all the time that I have. And the goal is being delivered as we speak. Tracking says that it is somewhere between here and Kansas. This is the goal.
It’s for the show I told you all about a few days ago. Remember me saying that Matt gave me an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone? Well, everything looks good so far, and as soon as we get the final word tomorrow night, it will be a confirmed go. And that is when the real fun begins.
Not because of the pages and pages of lines we will have to memorize. Or that we will have to rehearse often. I’m looking forward to that.
No, what worries me is that for some reason in my hairbrained Lucille Ball mindset, I had the brilliant idea that I should be in the land of the 150s when I perform. Which gives me exactly 10 weeks to lose between 11 and 20 pounds. Do the math and you will see that I am still hanging on to 170.
So I have 10 weeks to get unsuper me whipped into shape for my return to stage after a 4 ½ year absence/hiatus. Last show I did was “Chicago” when I got the dream role of Roxie Hart. A plump Roxie Hart.
But this show requires more. It says in the script that my character, Sally, is thin. THIN!
So I did the most impractical thing I could think of to get me on track.
I bought a costume that is too small for me.
That ought to do it. Right?
The dress is a size 10. “I thought you were wearing size 10 already, Charlie!” And yes. I am.
But not in shirts. They are still clingy on my size 14 belly/boob combination. And I still have a barrel chest problem. I have to shrink more. For the sake of the theatre.
This might actually be the swift kick I have been needing. Because if I can get down to a reasonable 155 by show time, I can strut my stuff with confidence. Actually, it will have to wait till after the show, because the character is unassuming and rather mousey. But I’m not. Once I step off that stage and become Charlie again, I can rejoice that I pulled off such a feat.
Me. The princess of UN-SUPER. (Thank you Shannon for inspiring me with that phrase. I needed it! lol)
I’m going to work out a rigorous schedule for working out, figure out a diet plan, and fill everyone in.
But for today, I’m gonna look at that picture of a too small dress and let myself get scared. Because dieting takes a hefty amount of fear (pun intended) for it to stick. For me to be willing to make the changes necessary to get me from a “size 10 jean only” to a “size 10 vintage dress.” Remember my babbling about changing my shoes and finding some red vinyl thigh high boots to wear?
This Princess of Un Super (PUS) is looking for her boots.
I will update you soon, but for now you should know that I am sweating bullets.
And that’s not a bad thing at all…
Monday, December 7
When my body gets stuck on such a schedule, it takes me almost 3 weeks to get it back to normal. Because it isn't as easy as staying up for a full 24 hours till it's time to go to bed like normal people. I have to ease my body back into the routine of waking up at 6am. And the body doesn't like that much at all.
Part of the reason I prefer to sleep in the daytime is that I am scared of the dark. Yep, a 32 year old woman still hates sleeping in a pitch black room. I like opening my eyes from a deep sleep and seeing exactly what is in front of me. And I wake up from sleep often. It's the A.D.D in me, I think.
Point being, I PREFER to sleep in the day because I long for the security of the light.
I long for security often. Not just in my sleeping, but in many things. Like money. I often think that the security of great sums of money would make things so much better. I would relax. I could breathe easy, and take some of the pressure off of Matt as the sole bread winner. But everytime I try to make headway in that area, something inside me pulls towards something else.
I have learned to be confident over the past year, that's for sure, but am I SECURE???
Security is something I seldom felt. I grew up in a home where there wasn't much security. It was a constant state of walking on eggshells. Then in my first marriage, I wound up achieving the same type of home life- never knowing where I stood with the ex from one moment to another. Now, although I am extremely happy with Matt in our marriage, I wonder about the future, the kids college, getting enough money to have my surgery so I can have more kids...all those things weigh heavy on my heart. And in seeking security, I look around to see what things I can change to make it better.
And I always think that money will make those situations better.
But tonight, as I was watching a dvd of the show "Heroes" I felt God tugging on my insecure heart once again.
"Your security must be in ME."
Of course, I argue with God. (It's not a bad thing. I think God likes a little intelligent conversation with His children now and then.)
"Well, sure, YOU are the reason I have anything at all, but I need to pull my weight."
"But there are things planned for you that you would miss if you take the short cuts."
"What kind of short cuts are You talking about?"
"You need to finish what you have already started."
"God, that is fine and dandy, but I have to help take care of things now."
"Why? Do you think that I won't?"
And there it was. The ugly truth of my disobedience staring me square in the face. I don't think that God will take care of me like I want to take care of me.
Now, I will admit this notion is pretty darn laughable. After all. I do a horrific job of taking care of me. (Shall we point out who allowed herself to be a fatty fatty two by four?)
But I know the things I want! I know what I need! I know what I greed! And that's probably why God has a problem with me being secure in myself alone. I take the easy route.
And God's ways are never easy. It's kind of like the whole diet process. I do good for a while, then have to take a few steps back in failure. Because He wants to teach me a lesson. For my own good of course, but nevertheless, lessons in the "hard knock category" suck. So I tend to avoid them.
Instead of trusting God with all my heart, I trust Him just enough to get me by. So it looks like I trust Him completely, but am still hanging on to those little pieces that I think I could do better with.
Like my past.
And my hurts.
And my weight.
And my checkbook.
Something has been burning on my heart lately, and I can't shake it. See, New Year's Day is coming up very soon, and women everywhere are going to be looking for a place to turn. Because their New Year's resolutions are going to be the same. "This is the year I am going to lose that 'X' number of pounds." Am I going to be too busy planning my own security, seeking what only helps me and my family, and neglecting the good I can do to help others reach their potential? Am I going to be selfish enough to say "I'm doing what is good for me" and not be there 100% for those who need a helping hand and a good belly laugh?
Or will I put my security in God and what He asked me to do over a year ago?
Because He told me that where I was going, the weight couldn't come along. (He also said the smoking had to go too. And I'm working on it. That's what New Year's resolutions are for, right?) But regardless of the fact that I am still striving for holiness, He calls me still. He asks me to seek out the women who have lost hope because of their weight. He asks me to believe in them and to instill confidence in them- even when they gave up on themselves long ago.
1st Corinthians 15:10 says "But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect." And to be honest gals, His grace was all I had when I started this journey over a year ago. I had no hope, no confidence....nothing. My family and friends supported me, but I don't think anyone actually thought I would really do it this time. But by the grace of God, I did what I did, and His grace effected me so profoundly that life would never be the same again.
The security I think I really long for is knowing that when I look at a woman in walmart, at the library, through an email, wherever she is- I will have the courage to share God's grace with her and show her what happens when you hang onto Him like there's no tomorrow.
So why me? Why is He asking all this of me? I'm no one special. I'm just a bratty woman who got herself in so deep with her weight and her depression that she had no place to look for hope but up.
And I think that's exactly why He has placed this mission on my heart. Not to make women thinner. Not to be a comedienne. Not to have a place to write and release my creative juices.
But because His grace to me would not be without effect.
I have some serious praying to do. I don't know what will happen. I don't know if my checkbook will fall into line. I don't know if I will ever get that earthly security that I long for.
What I do know is that I am going to push forward into reaching my weight loss goal, and I am going to see what effect He is going to have next on my life.
Why me? We'll see.
Thursday, December 3
I want you to think about something for a minute. (Yep, another fat fairy tale is just around the corner.)
Tuesday, December 1
What I must first tell you about showchoir is that I am a jazz hand junkie.
I started the wild ride of showchoir in Jr. High and continued it through High School. I had a husband and wife team who were the directors, Mr. and Mrs. V, and I have the deepest respect for both of them. They taught me about breath support, trying to be light on my feet (a lesson I never really grasped) and of course, something called a musical orgasm. (OK, before you freak out, it’s not what it sounds like. Plus, Hillary used the word douche recently on her blog, so I can use the word orgasm.) For those of you scratching your head, that is the point in the song where everything crescendos (gets louder) and builds until the singers and the audience gets goosebumps. (Musical O’s are important. I get them in worship all the time. And it’s not weird at all. It’s heavenly!) This couple was dedicated to taking a group of hyperactive melodic divas (both male and female) and getting them to work together as a team. It took a lot of ego tempering, yelling, tears, slamming hands on the pianos (something they both are famous for) and a big butt load of commitment. I owe them a lot, and if I ever win a grammy, a dove or a tony, they are on my thank you speech, right under Jesus. I love you both, Mrs. and Big V!!!
Now, the reason I am so obsessed with showchoir is that it was the one place I knew that although I was the biggest girl in the “Contemporaires” (our group’s name) I also knew that I had something special to offer. I have a very expressive face, a strong voice, and I hear harmonies like nobody’s business. It’s no surprise that I took the phrase “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings” as a personal challenge. And sing I did. The musical values instilled in me by Mr. and Mrs. V have carried over into my adult hood, and I am a better person, both on stage and off, because of them.
More than anything I want my kids to feel the passion of music and understand how a little song and dance can change a roomful of people from sleepy and stoic to spirited and inspired. I also want them to NEVER be afraid to get up in front of people. My mom, Margaret the Saint, has a wonderfully strong case of stage fright, something I have never been afflicted with. And it makes a world of difference. I can talk to people, sing for people, and yes, even break into a jazz square with a nice grapevine and dance. Our kids deserve that freedom too.
So when Nick, the elementary music teacher, suggested a showchoir for the 4th and 5th graders at the kids’ school, I was all over that like me on French Fries. Or a steak n’ shake buttery burger. I was in before the opening 4 counts.
Because I was trying to be supportive, I offered my services anywhere I could be used. Bringing snacks to rehearsals, being a live body in the room to remind kids to not talk during the instructions, and to sing out during the song. I also briefly offered to HELP sew on SOME costumes.
If only I had known!
(Please know, I am honored that I could be a part of this. My 10 year old Amy and my niece Gabbi are both in the showchoir, so it’s my parent duty. I also think that the director Nick is fantastic. He’s been a great addition to our school. Funny and bright, ambitious and energetic, he’s a perfect match to our pint size performers.)
Enter the score of my drama- the Jackson 5. Yep, the kiddos are singing “I’ll be there,” “Dancing Machine” and “ABC” for their set. Only they haven’t got the choreography done for “ABC” yet. So for their winter/holiday concert this Thursday night, they going to dance to the “Dancing Machine.” But they needed costumes. And Bell Bottoms are totally in order.
And lots of parents signed up to help hand sew sequins on the flare leg jeans. Unfortunately, when I went to deliver the jeans to others, they sweetly declined.
Which left me with 25 pairs of jeans to sew.
And each pair ended up taking me between 45 minutes to an hour to finish. And that’s if I was booking it.
Now you can only sew sequins for so long before a few things happen.
A) Your back begins to get sore from hunching over to see the teeny tiny hole in the middle of the sequin.
B) You get blinded by the light of the lamp hitting the silver sequins and shining back into your eyes.
C) You run the needle up your fingernail or stab the tip of your finger.
D) You want to cry because the pile of unsequined jeans appears to never get smaller.
But I pushed through, and conquered the mountain of jeans. It took me all weekend to finish them, and I could hardly type yesterday because I have mutilated the tips of my fingers, but I got them done.
And it felt great.
What was even better, was that I was so wrapped up in finishing the jeans that I totally forgot to whine and cry about over eating during Thanksgiving. And I didn’t gain a single pound. In fact, I am sitting pretty at 170.
So what was the secret to my dieting success during the holiday?
I guess it was all in the jeans….